The Yomim Noraim are here. We take stock of our year past and pray fervently for the year upcoming. That is not new; it is age-old and brings about certain familiar tropes in Jewish thought. Many of us think about things we did not do during the past year and hope that we can remedy that in the next year.

Typical things we might feel we did not do enough of in 5777 and intend to do more of in 5778 might be... perform more mitzvot; work more efficiently and successfully at work and at our familial responsibilities; get more rest or give more tzedakah; exercise more and sin less.

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One thing I did not do at all in 5777, and I hope to do in 5778, is go diving. At a particular public swimming pool in Manhattan. You may ask, why? Huh? You may comment, is that such a remarkable thing to mention? Some might snicker and think this is piffle.

To me this is a bit of a big deal. Every year at least once or twice, I have gone diving. I don't care how old I am, but I love to get in some diving each summer. And at the start of summer 5777 I had planned to dive at least once or twice at the Carmine Street pool in the West Village in Manhattan. It is one of the treats I look forward to, because there is a certain special magic feeling about diving. To be airborne due to your physical motion, and then slice into the water, is a special feeling that cannot be replicated.

But this summer, for several weeks, I dealt with an ear infection. My right ear became very clogged. It bothered me greatly, and its worst it hurt constantly. It became hard for me to hear conversation clearly. Being on the phone was a chore. My balance was impacted somewhat. I had to take oral medicine and ear drops. It was not pleasant at all, and it was especially onerous during the summer.

My ear now appears to be better, but I never did get to go diving.

Now, in the scheme of things this is really not an earth-shattering circumstance. I am well aware that many people had terrible times during this summer: storms, earthquakes, violence, extreme incidents of bias and more. The summer of 2017/5777 was bad for many people around the world. My own younger daughter suffered another concussion and could not go to Young Judaea sleep away camp. Things were awful for many people. So my infected ear and lack of diving was nothing much.

And I am grateful that for the most part my summer was not too bad. (There was also the loss of one part-time job, but I have shrugged that off as well.) But there is a part of me that really misses not diving. The physical sensation, which translates into a year-long memory, never occurred. And I hope that 5778, and 5779 and for the rest of my life, I do get the chance to dive into the water and experience that athletic feat. Because... I love to dive. It is one of the simple pleasures of life.

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